Len Kenna & Crystal Jordan © August 10, 2016

Butten Singh, known also known as Thomas Buttan/Butten/Button Singh, was born 1871 in Jullunder, India, and was the son of Rosal Singh and his mother’s name was Wotombe.  He arrived in Australia in c.1899. On 23 April 1919[1] he married an Australian woman, Louisa Buchbach. They had four children: Thomas Esmond Butten-Singh born c. 1920, Dulcie May Butten-Singh born c.1922, Victoria Agnes Butten-Singh b. 20 September 1923, she died at eighteen days of age, and Edwin James Butten-Singh born 1925. 

His son Edwin belonged to the Rifle Shooting Club which had fortnightly Silver Spoon Shoot competitions.[2]  One of his sons played Rugby for the Cooran Rugby Team[3]. His two sons Edwin James, also known as Edward, joined the Australian Army during WWII. On 21 August 1941 his eldest son, Thomas was killed in action in Libya and is remembered at the Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Darnah Province, Libya.[4] His younger son Edwin survived the war, returned to Australoa and was discharged on 27 September 1946, however, other information in his Australian Army File at the National Archives of Australia suggests that after the war he returned to Japan to marry a Japanese woman and disappeared from records in Australia.

Within a short time of his arrival Butten became a successful and well-known farmer and banana farmer in Cooran, about one mile from the Cooran Railway Station, on the north coast of Queensland.[5]

In early 1921 Butten Singh had declined an offer of £100 ($200) per acre on his property.[6] 

Cooloolabin Farmer

Mr. Thomas B. Singh, a well known farmer of the Cooloolabin district, died in the Nambour General Hospital at the age of 70 years.

The late Mr. Singh was born in the Jullunder district, India, and had lived in New South Wales and Queensland for over 40 years.  For many years he carried on farming at Cooloolabin.  He leaves two sons, Thomas Esmond, of the A.I.F. and Edwin James (Cooloolabin), also one daughter, Miss Dulcie May Button Singh (Beaudesert).  Nambour Chronicle and NCoast Advertiser Qld. Fri. 16 May 1941, p. p. 8.

BUTTEN-SINGH Edwin/Edward James QX51994 -NAA.B883, QX51994-2ADJ

There were two other Butten Singhs in the same district as Thomas Butten Singh.

They were Butten Singh from Bhangal Kalan, Punjab, India, (pictured above) who was a Dairy Farmer in Pomona and Cooran, he later moved to Closeburn, Cedar Creek, via Samford, Qld., He never married or had any children in Australia or India. In 1930 he donated a Silver Cup to the Noosa Cricket Association for competition amongst their B-grade teams.

The third Butten/Button Singh from Patiala, North West India. He settled in and around Nambour where he became a well known horse dealer. He also never married in Australia. He became despondent, underwent medical treatment in Brisbane and was admitted to the Goodna Mental Asylum where he died in 1927.

[1] Singh, Thomas Buttan and Buchbach, Louisa, Marriage Reg: No: B22900/1919 Qld.

[2] “Sport on the North Coast.” Sunday Mail Bris. Qld. Sun. 4 Jun. 1939, p. 25

[3] Kerkhove, Ray, Towards a Multi-Faith History of the Sunshine Coast, Uni. Of Qld. P. 80.

[4] Butten-Singh Thomas Esmond, Private, NAA: J2483, 538/16.

[5] “Bananas At Cooran.”  The Queenslander Brisbane Qld Sat 9 Apr 1921 p. 23 & 36.

[6] “Bananas At Cooran.”  The Queenslander Brisbane Qld Sat 9 Apr 1921 p. 23 & 36.